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10 June 2013

Laughing Cow Mac n' Cheese



Today I have to begin yet again with an "I'm sorry." I have a major case of lazy-itis. After a long day of work- instead of keeping the momentum and continuing my work- I lounge around, cuddling with Ninja, and watching television. I think it has something to do with a lack of schedule during the summer- since I am definitely a creature that benefits from structure! 


Well- I left off with my flight to Singapore. Once the hubby and I landed in Singapore, we took a 4 hour bus ride-- watching the beautiful scenery and enjoying some zzzz's as we headed to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. We stayed for two days only. On the first day,  we headed out to experience the famous Chinatown. Most tourists go there for their famous, name brand knock-offs. But I am just not a fan of knock-offs. But I did get some scarves, leather purses, a wallet and a make up bag. We enjoyed touring the local temples and seeing the architecture. We ended the night trying traditional Malaysian food- which I realized I was NOT a fan of at all :( The hubby though discovered his love of Pandan. 


On the second day, we took the train to the Batu Caves which was about an hour outside of Kuala Lampur. The city has an amazing rail system- so we took the train. The Batu Caves is a famous Hindu Temple that is built in a large cave. Their are wild monkeys EVERYWHERE! At first it's a bit scary but then you realize it's like squirrels there--though they are a bit more forward if they want your food and water-- so you do have to be careful not to have that out. To get to the caves you have to climb this really, really, really long and giant staircase. I got really winded and did not think I was going to make it. But it was amazing and breathtaking. 


After our long day, climbing and touring in the HEAT we went and enjoyed Japanese food (since we did not want a repeat of the Malaysian food). I ordered this Sushi sandwich! It was so yummy and so cute looking! I really wondered why we do not have anything like that here. We then finished the evening with dessert. I realized Malaysia is really into gourmet desserts, they have them everywhere- one of them being donuts. They have the most interesting flavors and choices. And best of all- they are decorated beautifully! The hubby enjoyed this beautiful yam doughnut. A good and bad of Kuala Lampur was that there were cupcakes there BUT they were very, very simple. I got this chocolate on vanilla cupcake and a Milo doughnut. If you do not know what Milo is- you are missing out!





The next morning we were off to Siem Reap, Cambodia! Until the next post-- enjoy this recipe for Laughing Cow Mac n' Cheese. I love Laughing Cow Cheese because you can get the low fat version, to be health conscious, and it taste just the same (for those that like "skinny" recipes). They also have different flavors- in case you want mac n' cheese with a twist. This dish is super easy to make and comes out creamy- just like you would order in a restaurant. Absolutely delicious! So if you have a little one who loves mac n' cheese- and want something simple, healthy and not from a box- try this!







LAUGHING COW MAC N' CHEESE
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats 

INGREDIENTS

8-10oz pasta shells (or other desired shape)
6 oz of Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (I chose Creamy Swiss)
1/4 c. heavy cream or milk (optional- for creamy texture)

--- stop here if you just want plain mac n' cheese--

1 tbsp. olive oil
10.5 oz (1 1/2 chicken breasts) chicken strips, cooked (I used Tyson's grilled chicken strips)
10 oz broccoli florets
1/2 can of diced tomatoes drained (very well or use sun-dried tomatoes)
Salt and pepper to taste 
squeeze of lemon juice (for tangy taste- omit if preferred)

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot of salted boiling water-- cook pasta according to package directions. Drain excess water and run cold water through pasta to prevent sticking.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, saute chicken breasts until warm and fragrant (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Once pasta is cooked and drained, dump pasta back into large pot over low heat. Then stir in cheese wedges. Using a spatula, continuing stirring pasta and cheese, until cheese melts and evenly coats pasta. Then add in chicken, broccoli and tomatoes-- tossing until cheese evenly coats all ingredients. Add in salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. 

Serve while hot- so mac n' cheese is nice and creamy!

Enjoy,
Chika

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